The basis for debate is this:
Israel was founded, not at all implausibly, because many Jews felt the lessons of things like pogroms, purges, and, obviously, eventually, the Holocaust showed that no country could be trusted to ensure the safety and security of their people (there of course is also the religious significance of the nation, but of course that would have been important at any time in history, not just in the last century). The hope was that it would provide safe haven for Jews all over the world: Jews would finally control their own security, ensure the safety of their own people.
The problem is that, in hindsight, it seems like the traditional sources of anti-semitism were so exhausted and shamed after the Holocaust that the millenia-long historical progression of it seemed at an end. Jews very quickly became accepted in societies like America, and with the success of the civil rights movement in general and the new modernism, western socities basically repudiated most types of ethnic and religious hatreds in both their legal systems and popular cultures.
But the existence of Israel, of course, created an all new source for anti-Jewish hatred and anti-Zionist resentment. It dumped large numbers of Jews instantly into a situation where millions of Muslims would be offended and radicalized by their prescence. No matter whose fault it was, it created one of the biggest cultural clashes in centuries, inflaming the Middle East. Jews today are singled out by Middle Eastern terrorists all around the world because of this situation, while Jews living in Israel live under constant threat of suicide bombers and an entire region that wants them dead and or gone. Even in places that people point to as Western countries that still have anti-semitism (like France), the majority of this seems driven by problems with Zionism and Palestine.
The question is: would the Jewish people in general be a lot safer and more secure if Israel had never come into being? Was the creation of Israel at that particular time in history, in retrospect, worth it, from the perspective of the advancement and safety of the Jewish people? Obviously, now that it has, we can’t redo history, and I don’t want to debate where Israel should go from here or even whether it’s was a legitimately created nation-state or whatever. Israel is here now, it has to figure out how to survive and function where it is, and nobody on these boards can really claim to know what the best way out of the conflict is.
So what I’m interested in is just the strategic discussion, not the moral rightness or wrongness of Israel’s existence or anything that’s happened since: just *in light of[/] how it all turned out, was it a good idea? In other words, what I’m interested in considering is irony: was the creation of Israel ultaimtely counter-productive to the safety ans security and general social acceptance of Jews all over the world?
To me, it seems so, but I don’t claim to be well informed on all the relevant issues, and it may be that there are historical realities that I’m unaware of, or other sources of anti-semitism that would have fired up just as big even if the Palestinian issue had never come to be. But what if? What if no Israel had been created (at least not at that time) but Jews had both the memory of the Holocaust as well as the general success of modern civil rights in the western world on their side by now? What if America and other western democracies were their major havens (more dispersed yes, but also less likely to cause disruption and resentment due to major demographic shifts) instead of Israel? Would Jews be as singled out for hatred as they are today by Muslims and those that think Zionism is evil and so on? Or would the few lone Holocaust denier nuts be the only real anti-Jew focused movement? Somewhere in between? I’m just having a hard time seeing what else would have fanned the flames to make up for the effect that Israel had on both people in the Middle East and around the world.